This paper investigated the potential relationships between physical capacity and physical activity (recreational and household) with social isolation amongst older adults. Data for hospitalized Victorians (n = 311) were analyzed in univariable, multivariable and latent growth curve analyses over six months. Measures included items from the Friendship Scale, Lubben Social Network Scale (LSNS-6), Australian Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers Household (SDAC), and Phone-FITT. Over six months, improvements in physical capacity were related to reduced social isolation (−0.65, CI = −1.21, −0.09). Increased total (0.02, CI = 0.004, 0.04) and household-based physical activity (0.03, CI = 0.001, 0.06) were related to contact with more relatives. Higher baseline household-based physical activity was related to contact with fewer relatives (−0.01, CI = −0.02, −0.001). Along with physical capacity and activity, household-based physical activity appears to be strongly related to social isolation. Further research is required to determine the direction of relationships, to provide evidence for effective interventions.
- Mental health